Monday, June 14, 2010

Blogger Assaulted by CUPE Representative

When a CUPE representative abuses a blogger, does anybody see? The above video of a CUPE representative roughing up a pro-Israel blogger last month for using a video camera at a rally, was posted on YouTube. But the public generally doesn't see video footage of abuse tactics employed by CUPE members against people who don't share their political views.

Certainly the public doesn't see CUPE abuses of people at Carnegie Centre who dare speak to bloggers who criticize CUPE, people who are almost without exception too poor to afford lawyers. These people can get roughed up physically by CUPE "security" at Carnegie, but more often they are simply targeted for permanent removal from this taxpayer funded Centre.

I was reminded of what is not being seen when Pivot Legal Society announced they had been granted a hearing at the BC Human Rights Tribunal on May 31, 2010 about "removals" of poor people from public spaces. Pivot's complaint was not about Carnegie. It was about removals by the Downtown Ambassadors who work for the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association. The Ambassadors earn lower salaries than CUPE members -- a welfare recipient who takes a security guard course can sometimes get a job strutting around in an Ambassador uniform -- who guide tourists and ask the poor and downtrodden or addicted to stop sitting in doorways, on sidewalks, or on benches, to leave and not return.

These "removals" by Ambassadors from public spaces no doubt do constitute Charter violations, but the Ambassadors will have to work to catch up to CUPE members who have been performing these "removals" for thirty years at Carnegie Centre. CUPE members at Carnegie keep a gigantic black binder documenting such "removals", on the front reception desk, like a trophy. A victim's account of a removal -- they call them "barrings" at Carnegie -- is not considered a necessary addition to the binder. When Pivot was asked to help put a stop to these abuses, after CUPE "security" executed the removal of an elected official who happened to be poor and homeless and didn't happen to share their politics, a female Pivot lawyer refused to challenge Carnegie, saying, "But they're our friends."

The Downtown Ambassadors are not Pivot's friends....because they are not CUPE's friends. The Downtown Ambassadors are infringing on CUPEs turf. The job description of the Ambassadors, according to the website of the DVBIA, is to complete "daily incident reports on issues attended to". That's what CUPE members at Carnegie do -- not only Carnegie "security" staff but Carnegie street workers too, some of whom have been caught working with police to deter criticism of CUPE members. If anybody is going to be restricting the civil liberties of the poor, or kicking the arses of bums, let it be somebody paying CUPE union dues, or CUPE will fight it like it's contracting out.

Former Pivot Executive Director, David Eby, was criticized last year in the comment section of Jamie Lee Hamilton's blog, Oldtown, for ignoring rampant civil liberties abuses at Carnegie. Eby responded that Pivot could not tackle all of the problems in the Downtown Eastside. He's right. But Carnegie Centre is considered "the livingroom" of the Downtown Eastside, a pivotal institution. Pivot has to really work not to see the human rights abuses going on there.


Anonymous said...

yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa, more CUPE bashing.
Can't you do something better with your hard-on?

reliable sources said...

As long as CUPE is poor-bashing, we will be exposing them.

Anonymous said...

you idiot!

Rachel Davis said...

PIVOT did work hard to ignore the Bill Simpson case. I remember receiving a full page email from David Eby detailing why they didn't have time to respond to my first inquiries as to whether they would help him.

My favorite part was where Eby wrote that they receive so very much press, that much of PIVOT's time was taken up with answering out of town calls about their society!!
So very much time that they couldn't help the locals!!
That reminds me of the bird that developed such lovely mate-attracting-plumage that he couldn't fly anymore! In the same way, PIVOT becomes no longer useful because it is so eager to show off, and if it continues on the same course it will be eaten.

Truly though, when I responded to Eby's invite to call him on the subject, no, a meeting was not possible for him, he told me to write down the course of events concerning Bill Simpson, an elected board member of Carnegie thrown out for linking to your blog, and he would send it on to his buddy Jason G. at civil liberties. I took the considerable time and trouble to do so, and, of course, there was never any reply from PIVOT or Jason at all. I felt like I'd been blown off big time after being asked to do much work, and it really ticked me off.

Anonymous said...

"So very much time that they couldn't help the locals!!"

like Jim Arkinstal.
Pivot legal beagles lost his file.
they took his case when he got beat up by 2 security guards at Metrotown mall
2 witnesses told the guards to stop the assault and they gave a statement to the cops
doug king at pivot took the case,
king told jim the security company was not cooperative. isn't that what lawyers are for??? in an adversarial system?
king went away for ayear, gave the file to another lawyer
she told jim she lost it
case closed.

reliable sources said...

you idiot!"

Yes, they do, by colluding with the abuses of poor people by CUPE members. I haven't heard any CUPE members speak out against the abuses. By paying CUPE union dues while CUPE protects the perpetrators of poor-bashing, every dues payer is colluding with the poor-bashing.

Anonymous said...

Now is the time for the marginalized of the Downtown Eastside to wake up and fully realize that to the Lefist functionaries who control the DTES we are Lumpenproletariat. The continual work to rule mentality of the unionist means that you had better not make any noise, any trouble, and interfere with the Union getting the most for the least - even if that means lapsing into unethical and criminal territory - a trend repeatedly demonstrated throughout history. Pivot Legal Society types provide a gloss of due process over an increasingly lawless environment and are well compensated for their public relations distortions. Containment and increasing mortality - these are the core goals of ghettos - especially for those who won’t toe the party line.

Anonymous said...

Well guess what fucktard?
I'm a CUPE member and have NO SAY in the fucking deductions they take of my fucking cheque!

Am I angry?


Rachel Davis said...

Anonymous, I'm very sorry to hear that story about Jim, he deserves better from people.

Second Anonymous: I could see how you would be angry, you don't have any say in whether you contribute to the union or not, it comes with the job, and jobs are hard to get, especially one with any benefits at all, and more power to you that you got it.
I know I was very very happy for a friend of mine at Carnegie that got a job with security there, against all odds, after a life time of knocking about.

So, for me, the complicity is not in the fact that your paycheck contributes to a fund. It's in the tolerance for your co-workers ill treatment of your clients.
I'm sure you've seen it. If you've spoken up against it, you are certainly bucking a trend. In all my dealings with CUPE members, the only time I succeeded in bringing one member accountable to another, was when I happened to be representing another DTES institution, and so it was really the "Institution" that was being appeased. As a regular patron, or even board member of Carnegie, complaints have always gone nowhere.
But my sympathies are with you, it is like golden handcuffs to have such a job. . Maybe if you find it too dangerous to speak up, you could find other ways to help.
Be extra polite to clients yourself for instance, that always is helpful.

Anonymous said...

To the CUPE member who doesn't like paying dues:
Work somewhere else. Lots of people appreciate being represented by a union. If you don't, then work somewhere that is not unionized. You'll have lower pay, lower benefits, and no protection against various forms of subtle discrimination.

That being said, if you are a CUPE member, and you don't like something about CUPE, write or talk to your representatives. They will listen!

Unfortunately though, they don't have any power either. CUPE conventions and CUPE BC office staff do not have people that speak out of turn. Toe the party line or you are a pariah.

Anonymous said...

You guys, I might be a member of CUPE, but I DO NOT work at Carnegie OK?

I have never EVER, seen a fellow CUPE member in my site mistreat anyone, EVER. I mean it.

And yes, I look at the internal job posting EVERY single Tuesday and Friday, and apply all the time, but don't even get a phone call, let alone an interview. So thanks.